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Dealing with a liquidity trap when government debt matters: optimal time-consistent monetary and fiscal policy

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  • Burgert, Matthias
  • Schmidt, Sebastian

Abstract

How does the need to preserve government debt sustainability affect the optimal monetary and fiscal policy response to a liquidity trap? To provide an answer, we employ a small stochastic New Keynesian model with a zero bound on nominal interest rates and characterize optimal time-consistent stabilization policies. We focus on two policy tools, the short-term nominal interest rate and debt-financed government spending. The optimal policy response to a liquidity trap critically depends on the prevailing debt burden. In our model, while the optimal amount of government spending is decreasing in the level of outstanding government debt, future monetary policy is becoming more accommodative, triggering a change in private sector expectations that helps to dampen the fall in output and inflation at the outset of the liquidity trap. JEL Classification: E31, E52, E62, E63, D11

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1622.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20131622

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Keywords: deficit spending; discretion; monetary and fiscal policy; new Keynesian model; zero nominal interest rate bound;

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  1. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  2. Adam, Klaus, 2010. "Government Debt and Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8064, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1877-1905, October.
  4. Taisuke Nakata, 2013. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with occasionally binding zero bound constraints," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-40, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. David Vines & Sven Jari Stehn, 2007. "Debt Stabilization Bias and the Taylor Principle," IMF Working Papers 07/206, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Matthew Denes & Gauti B. Eggertsson & Sophia Gilbukh, 2012. "Deficits, public debt dynamics, and tax and spending multipliers," Staff Reports 551, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Sebastian Schmidt, 2013. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(7), pages 1335-1350, October.
  8. Eggertsson, Gauti B., 2006. "The Deflation Bias and Committing to Being Irresponsible," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(2), pages 283-321, March.
  9. Jung, Taehun & Teranishi, Yuki & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy at the Zero-Interest-Rate Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 813-35, October.
  10. Taisuke Nakata, 2011. "Optimal Government Spending at the Zero Bound: Nonlinear and Non-Ricardian Analysis," 2011 Meeting Papers 831, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Schmidt, Sebastian, 2014. "Fiscal activism and the zero nominal interest rate bound," Working Paper Series 1653, European Central Bank.

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